Title: There to the Bitter End – Ted Serong in Vietnam
Author: Blair, Anne
Condition: Near Mint
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 2001
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 298 pages
Comments: This is the story of Ted Serong who, at the request of the CIA, was in charge of the first Australian contingent in Vietnam and remained there until the end of the war.
‘Get me ten years, Ted’, the instruction Sir Walter Cawthorn, head of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, gave to Colonel Ted Serong in August 1964, sustained Serong in Vietnam until 30 April 1975. The ‘ten years’ were those needed, Cawthorn maintained, to exhaust the USSR and China by their continual involvement in war, and to allow the new nations of South-East Asia—the Dominoes—to strengthen themselves against insurgency.
In 1961, the CIA invited Serong, then in Burma, to Vietnam to advise on the war. When the Australian government made the decision a year later to send a group of Australian jungle warfare experts to Vietnam as a contribution to the American alliance, it was Serong who led this team and personally chose its members. He had two additional assignments, the first as adviser to the United States Military Commander in Vietnam, and the second, secret until now, as an adviser to the CIA on counter-insurgency.
Concerned from the outset that the United States had no strategy for the prosecution of the war, Serong warned John F Kennedy’s Special Group of the dangers ahead. Later, he played a central role in the events of the Tet Offensive of 1968. Serong stayed on to advise the last President of South Vietnam as the North Vietnamese Army converged on Saigon, to escape only in the final helicopter evacuation from the US Embassy roof.
This is the previously untold story, based on Serong’s unofficial diaries and his personal recollections.